For those of you who don't know, I am a PK--a preacher's kid. Today was my dad's 20th anniversay at the church where he works. That is a long time for someone in his line of work. I lived in 5 different towns before moving to the town where my parents now live, all before I was 16yo.
A lot of people don't realize how often a preacher is gone. I can't tell you how many times he missed trips or other fun things planned because someone in the church died and he had to stay to do a funeral. There were many late nights attending committee meetings or doing counseling sessions. I went through a time, right before I got married, where I was very resentful of the time he had to spend away from us because of his duties at the church. Not only that, but for a long time he wasn't paid very much money. I wanted to take gymnastics when I was young, but my parents just didn't have the money to pay for it. If there had been any way they could have made it work, they would have because my parents are just those kind of people. Lots and lots of times they did without things they wanted so my brother, sister and I could go do fun stuff or have things we wanted.
All of that to say that the church really came through for my parents today. They received commendations from the mayor, the Oklahoma Senate, and the Governor. The city where they live declared this Reverend "My Daddy" day. People gave them many, many cards expressing their thanks and love. My mom's Sunday School class gave her a $100 gift card to a store she likes and the choir (my Mom is the church pianist) gave her a $100 gift card to another store. My dad loves to go fishing and takes a trip to Canada with some guys from the church every year. To help honor him, they had a fish fry at church tonight.
They had, apparently, saved the best gifts for last because at the fish fry they gave them a cruise to Alaska. And THEN they had taken up a love offering and presented them with the amount that all of the people had given to show their love and appreciation--$12,580!!!
I cried and cried because my parents deserve it so very much. They are such wonderful people. I only wish I could be half as good as they are. I have only see my dad cry twice in my life--when his mom died and when his brother died. Tonight my Daddy was so overwhelmed by the church's generosity that he had tears rolling down his face. I came completely undone then.
So I know lots of people think churches are full of hypocrites. Others have left the church because of the way they were treated. There are a multitude of things that can and do go wrong at churches all over the country. But today was just a wonderful example of how loving and caring a church can be. For that I am very grateful.
9:07 PM ~